100 Very Best Restaurants: #3 – The Inn at Little Washington

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"Apparently a Pear," a faux pear sculpted from cheesecake, at the Inn at Little Washington. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Patrick O’Connell’s sumptuous Rappahannock County inn has been around for four decades, and just when you think you’ve seen all his culinary magic tricks, he pulls out a slew of new ones. A recent dinner began in the silk-shaded dining room with a razor-thin potato crisp holding pimiento cheese that would win blue ribbons. It ended with a trompe l’oeil pear crafted from cinnamon-pear cheese­cake—a confection that tastes just as spectacular as it looks. In between, depending on which of the three tasting menus you choose, you might encounter a bison tenderloin enriched with foie gras and velvety truffle sauce or a fuchsia tangle of beet “fettuccine” with a generous quenelle of osetra caviar. For lovers of luxe mod-American dining and whimsical surprises—four-star popsicles, truffle-laden popcorn—there’s no better place to celebrate. Very expensive.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.